Walking around the mountains and downtown state college, you can't help but notice that summer is over and fall has crept it's way back into our lives. It is far cooler, the leaves are turning and tumbling to the ground to nourish the soil and carry it through the long winter days ahead. As Summer ends and fall flourishes, the Ahimsa Summer Camp has also ended for another year. In the last days of the camp we have enjoyed hiking, camp fires, delicious organic meat free meals and fresh fruit snacks. The kids and staff engaged in educational discussions and healthy dialogue, in which the kids were asked to share their own experiences and points of view. The kids learned how to can their own veggies, to meditate, to use art as a tool for continued growth, and how to be responsible to one's own community. After every meal, the kids are expected to participate with everyone to clean up up for at least ten or fifteen minutes. This was just one method used to encourage coorperation, mutual respect, and empathy towards others. There was lots of energy during the last weeks which we channeled into gardening and other fun outdoor activities. On the last day, all the kids worked together to design and make their own pizza's from scatch. They were beautiful! We had star pizzas, hearts, triangles, etc. The toppings were fresh and delicious veggies, cheeses, and herbs. We picked flowers, set up a fancy table with candles, made smoothies, and had one last lunch together. Before hand, we had a moment of reflection and silence. A reflection of all that has happened that summer, all that we have been given, and the sacred gift of food.
It was a beautiful process to be part of and I am thankful to everyone involved. The kids were delightful and I was humbled to learn quite a lot from them. I look forward to the possbilities that next summer brings.